He said our language was founded on the alphabet, and to master it you had to begin with "a". And he said the nation was like that; it was based on townships, and when a township was clean, had good roads, bridges, schoolhouses, and churches, a county was in fine shape, and when each county was in order, the state was right, and when the state was prosperous, the nation could rejoice in its strength.
He said Atlas in the geography book, carrying the world on his back, was only a symbol, but a good one. He said when the county elected him to fill an important office, it used his shoulder as a prop for the nation, so it became his business to stand firmly, and use every ounce of strength and brains he had, first of all to make his own possessions a model, then his township, his county, and his state, and if every one worked together doing that, no nation on earth had our amount of territory and such fine weather, so none of them could beat us.
Quote from: Laddie; A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton-Porter
I know we like to get wrapped up in national politics. The focus on the presidential race has been going on for over a year already and we still have another eight more months to go. It has completely permeated the news. But what affects our daily lives way more than the president and federal politics is local politics. I admire Mr. Stratton, as described in the quote above, for taking his county position so seriously. I think we should all take local government more seriously too. Cities and counties levy taxes just like the federal government. We need to know how our money is being spent locally and who are the kind of people in charge of it. It would fix many of our nation's problems if locally we could get men and women in office who believed as Mr. Stratton that the fate of this nation is resting on their shoulders, that they need to get their own houses in order and set themselves up as a model before they can hope to put their town in order, and who truly believe that this nation is the greatest nation on earth.